French: Approaches to Francophone Literature

PREREQUISITE: V45.0105 OR V45.9105.

Many of the most acclaimed literary texts written in French in the 20th and 21st centuries were produced by writers from countries outside France. These works are often labelled as 'Francophone' literature - a term that emphasizes their contested status in relation to the established canon of 'French' literature. By introducing you to these texts, this course will allow you to explore the global and political dimension of the French language. We will not only investigate the connections between language, literature and colonialism, but also the role of writers in the anti-colonial and postcolonial contexts. The questions examined in this course include cultural, racial and gendered identities, as well the relationship between literature and politics. The course will give you a chance to read and discuss a wide range of texts by writers from a variety of backgrounds. These may include Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Patrick Chamoiseau, Maryse Condé, Ahmadou Kourouma, Assia Djebar, Mariama Bâ, Ferdinand Oyono, Sembene Ousmane.

Offered every year. 4 points. Examines literature from a network of French-speaking countries that form a Francophone space. Addresses the colonial past as well as the anticolonial and postcolonial situations in which French colonialism is replaced by more complex relationships and ideologies. Special attention is paid to language and the role of the writer in elaborating a postcolonial national identity. Writers studied may include Edouard Glissant and Patrick Chamoiseau of Martinique, Jacques Roumain of Haiti, Ahmadou Kourouma of the Ivory Coast, and Assia Djebar of Algeria.

Course Information



4 Points

Term Section Instructor Schedule Location

Spring 2018

Jean Michael Dash
MW: 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM 25W4 C-10